What is CAST?
CAST (Tilburg Centre for Architecture and Town Planning) opened its doors on 1st July 1995. It was set up in response to growing public interest in architecture and urban planning in general, and in the quality and beauty of the city of Tilburg in particular. The aim of CAST is to stimulate interest and debate about architecture, urban planning and landscape in the mid-Brabant region. It organises lectures, discussions, workshops, excursions and exhibitions and produces a variety of publications. These are aimed as much at the broad public as at professional groups active in the field.
The CAST field: architecture and urban planning
The mid-Brabant region, with Tilburg at its heart, forms the starting point for all CAST activities. As an unplanned industrial town, Tilburg does not reflect traditional notions of urban beauty. There is no picturesque mediaeval town centre and no futuristic metropolitan structure. What makes Tilburg special is that it clearly reveals how, over the last century, several small towns have merged to create a larger, viable whole. This explains why Tilburg is being increasingly cited as an example of how towns can develop. Given the progressive urbanisation of the Netherlands, the old ideal of the town - as a fixed focal point in the landscape - has become unrealistic. Tilburg is thus ideally qualified to make a valuable contribution to both regional and national thinking on the future of the Dutch town and of its architecture.
Official re-evaluation of Tilburg’s existing structure has led to much more careful planning in recent years. With the introduction of city image plans and the appointment of supervisors for new building within important areas, a conscious choice has been made for high quality architecture. This has led to a series of buildings commissioned from architects of national stature. Benthem & Crouwel’s work in Tilburg includes the 013 popcomplex (music venue) and the Pont Museum. The public gardens next to Abe Bonnema's Interpolis Head Office were laid out by West 8 Landscape Architects. B+B designed the Kromhoutpark and Jacq de Brouwer the Cenakel Towers. Jo Coenen is responsible for the form of the Kunstcluster (art centre).
CASTmethods and -organisation
CAST mounts a wide range of activities, often in collaboration with other organisations involved in architecture and urban planning. These include the Fontys Academy, Hogeschool Brabant, Culture in School (Tilburg) and the mid-Brabant branch of the BNA (Institute of Dutch Architects). It also works with various local councils and private initiatives.
CAST activities and projects receive funding from the "Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie", to whom an annual programme is submitted. In addition, Tilburg City Council provides a substantial structural subsidy in recognition of the value of CAST initiatives. Other councils, institutions and companies help sponsor individual projects.
CAST has three permanent staff members: programme creator Henriëtte Sanders (content of the yearly programma) and Inge Ceulen (administrative support). Wherever necessary, CAST brings in free-lance experts to support its various activities. A well apreciated group of volunteers supports our staff at events and adds to our creative input.